Canton of Basel-Country

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Canton of Basel-Country
coat of arms
coat of arms
Canton of the Swiss Confederation
Abbreviation / license plate : BL
Official language : German
Main town : Liestal
Largest place : Allschwil
Accession to the federal government : 1501
Area : 517.67  km²
Height range : 245–1168 m above sea level M.
Residents: 288,132 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 557 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without citizenship )
21.8% (December 31, 2015)
Unemployment rate : 3.1% (December 31, 2015)
Location of the canton in Switzerland
Location of the canton in Switzerland
Map of the canton
Map of the canton
Municipalities of the canton
Municipalities of the canton

Basel-Landschaft ( abbreviation BL ; unofficially mostly called Baselland or the Basel area , French Bâle-Campagne , Italian Basilea Campagna , Romansh Basilea-Champagna ? / I ) is a canton in German-speaking Switzerland . It is part of the economic area of northwestern Switzerland and the cross-border metropolitan region of Basel . The main town is Liestal , while the most populous town is Allschwil near Basel . Audio file / audio sample

The canton borders France in the west, Basel and Germany in the north . In the southwest to the cantonal border follows the canton of Jura of the French-German language border of Switzerland. The canton's area ranges from a few suburban communities near Basel in the north to small-town structures around the canton's capital Liestal to large forest and mountain areas around the Jura valleys in the south.


The canton is located in the north-west of Switzerland . With the exception of a few localities, it includes all the municipalities of the Laufental along the Birs, the Birseck and the lower Leimental ( Lower Basel region) as well as the municipalities along the Ergolz and its tributaries (Upper Basel region). The geographical shape of the canton is very irregular, especially because of the location of the neighboring Solothurnian Schwarzbubenland , the canton border also crosses several urban agglomerations .

In terms of area, it is one of the smaller cantons in Switzerland (18th place out of 26). Due to its dense population, however, it ranks 10th in the population. The division of Basel into the two half-cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft took place in 1833 (see history below ).

Basel-Landschaft borders in the east and northeast on the canton of Aargau and on the Rhine , which forms the border with Germany . Furthermore, the canton of Basel-Stadt borders in the north. The border with France then follows in the north-west .

In the south it borders on the motherland of the canton of Solothurn , of which some exclaves border on the canton of Basel-Landschaft to the west. The border with the canton of Jura runs in the extreme southwest .

The expansion of the canton is addressed in his unofficial but well-known hymn, the Baselbieterlied .

coat of arms

The coat of arms of the canton shows a red shepherd's staff. On the bend of the rod there are seven protuberances, which in versions before March 10, 1948 as seven balls did not yet touch the rod. A heraldic peculiarity is the left turn of the staff, i.e. away from the flagpole. This turning away from the flagpole symbolizes the turning away from the canton of Basel-Stadt and emphasizes independence.

The coat of arms comes from the city arms of Liestal . In order to better distinguish the two coats of arms, the red border was removed.


As of December 31, 2018, the population of the canton of Basel-Landschaft was 288,132. The population density of 556 inhabitants per square kilometer is almost three times the Swiss average (207 inhabitants per square kilometer). The proportion of foreigners (registered residents without Swiss citizenship ) was 22.9 percent on December 31, 2015, while 24.6 percent were registered nationwide. As of December 31, 2015, the unemployment rate was 3.1 percent compared to 3.7 percent at the federal level.


The official language of the canton and its municipalities is German . However, all cantonal and communal authorities are obliged to accept submissions in another official federal language .

Lingua franca is Swiss German in two versions: near the town corresponding idiom largely to the low alemannischen Basel German of Basel, while in Oberbaselbiet and Laufental high Alemannic dialects. All variants spoken in the canton, however, belong to Northwestern Swiss German, which is characterized by a consistent expansion of the short Middle High German vowels in an open syllable ( e.g. mhd. Baden [ badɘn ]> bl. Baade [ baːdɘ ] ‹baden›, mhd. Siben [ sɪbɘn ]> bl. sììbe [ sɪːbɘ ] ‹sieben›, mhd. stuben [ stʊbɘn ]> bl. stùbe [ ʃtʊːbɘ ] ‹ stube ›) as well as through the so-called extreme dulling of Middle High German long / a: / (about mhd. strâʒʒe [ straːsːɘ ]> bl. Strooss [ ʃtroːsː ] ‹Strasse›).

In the far west, the canton border partially coincides with the traditional French-German language border. Language border communities are Roggenburg and Liesberg . In the north-west, the canton borders on the historically German-speaking Alsace , in which French has also been the official language for a long time.

Religions - denominations

The traditional denomination of the Basel area (with the exception of the Laufental and parts of the Arlesheim district ) is the Reformed; The traditional denomination of the Laufental, the rear Leimental and the Birseck, all of which once belonged to the Principality of Basel , is Catholic.

As a result of modern migration and the formation of agglomerations, these boundaries are now very blurred, especially near the city of Basel. Some communities in the lower part of the canton now have a Reformed majority, while the area around Liestal now has a strong Catholic minority.

As of December 31, 2017, 30.2 percent (87,031 inhabitants) of the total resident population in the canton of Basel-Landschaft were members of the Evangelical Reformed Church, 25.3 percent (72,916 inhabitants) belonged to the Roman Catholic Church 0.4 percent (1,062 inhabitants) were members of the Christian Catholic Church (100 percent: 288,361 inhabitants).

Since the 2000 census (apart from the three regional churches ), there are no more precise numbers of members of the various religious communities for the entire population of the canton of Basel-Landschaft. However, the Federal Statistical Office carries out random sample surveys in which other religious communities in the canton are also recorded. In the 2017 sample survey, 30.2 percent of respondents aged 15 and over in the canton of Basel-Landschaft stated that they did not belong to any church or religious community. The survey also showed that a majority of 66.5 percent of Swiss citizens in the canton of Basel-Landschaft aged 15 and over belong to a Christian church. In the canton's population aged 15 and over with a foreign passport, no single religious community forms the majority: 41.6 percent are members of a Christian church, and a larger minority of 17.9 percent belong to the Islamic community.

Population aged 15 and over in the canton of Basel-Landschaft by religion and nationality / origin, 2017
(figures in percent)
religion Total
Swiss people
without a migration
with a migration
heads of state
Christianity 61.1 66.5 70.5 48.9 41.6
- Evangelical Reformed Church 30.0 36.6 41.5 14.2 06.1
- Roman Catholic Church 25.6 25.0 24.8 26.5 27.9
- other Christian churches 05.5 04.9 04.2 08.2 07.6
other religions 07.5 03.5 00.5 16.4 21.6
- Islam 05.6 02.2 00.2 11.3 17.9
- Judaism 00.2 00.2 <0.1 00.5 <0.1
- other religions 01.7 01.1 00.3 04.6 03.7
non-denominational * 30.2 29.0 27.9 33.6 34.7
unknown / not specified 01.1 01.0 01.0 01.1 02.0
* Atheists , agnostics or believers who do not belong to a church / religious community.

Constitution and Politics

The current cantonal constitution is dated May 17, 1984 (with changes since then).

legislative branch

In the parliament of the canton Basel-Landschaft, the district administrator , 90 people's representatives (district administrators) have a seat. Elections to the district administrator take place every four years in accordance with proportional representation (proportional representation). It cannot be terminated early. The diagram below shows the current distribution of seats for the district administrator (as of March 31, 2019).

Political party percent Seats Distribution of seats Share of voters in percent
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (SP) 22.84 22nd
14th 22nd 4th 8th 17th 21st 
A total of 90 seats
Elections for the District Administrator Basel-Landschaft on March 31, 2019
Turnout: 33.93%
Gains and losses
compared to 2015
 % p
Swiss People's Party (SVP) 22.66 21st
FDP.The Liberals (FDP) 17.04 17th
Green Party of Switzerland (GPS) 15.15 14th
Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP) 09.35 08th
Evangelical People's Party (EPP) 04.94 04th
Green Liberal Party (GLP) 04.51 03
DieMitte (electoral alliance of CVP, glp, BDP and non-party members in Upper Basel area) 01.63 01

From a political point of view, the Upper Basel area is more conservative than the lower part of the canton.

The people are also directly involved in legislation: 1,500 voters can apply for the enactment, amendment or repeal of a law or the constitution, which leads to a referendum ( popular initiative ). Constitutional amendments as well as legislative enactments that the district administrator enacts with fewer than four fifths of the members present are subject to a referendum ( mandatory referendum ). Decrees that have been adopted more clearly as well as resolutions on new one-off expenses of more than 500,000 francs or on new annually recurring expenses of more than 50,000 francs are subject to a referendum if it is requested by 1,500 eligible voters ( optional referendum ).

As a historic half- canton, the canton of Basel-Landschaft sends one representative to the Council of States and seven members of the National Council , the two chambers of parliament at federal level.


The canton's government , the government council, has five members (councilors) who are elected directly by the people for four years in accordance with the majority vote. It is chaired by the district president, who is elected annually by the district administrator from among the members of the government council.

Members of the Government Council (since March 31, 2019)
Government Council Political party Directorate
Anton Lauber CVP Finance and Church Directorate
Thomas Weber SVP Department of Economics and Health
Isaac Reber GPS Building and Environmental Protection Directorate
Monica Gschwind FDP Education, Culture and Sports Directorate
Kathrin Schweizer SP Security Directorate

In the elections on March 27, 2011, Isaac Reber ousted the previous SVP representative Jörg Krähenbühl from the government. It was the first non-re-election of a previous person since 1950. Reber took office on July 1, 2011.

On December 13, 2012, Adrian Ballmer announced his resignation in mid-2013. In the election for his successor, Thomas Weber (SVP) was finally able to prevail on April 21, 2013 in the second ballot, after Eric Nussbaumber (SP) was still in the lead in the first ballot on March 3, 2013, but missed the required number of absolute votes.

The death of Peter Zwick on February 23, 2013 required a second government council by-election. This was canceled on June 9, 2013. Anton Lauber (CVP) was able to prevail clearly against Thomas Jourdan (EVP) in the first ballot.


The highest cantonal court is the cantonal court , which was formed in 2001 from the previous higher court, constitutional court, administrative court and insurance court.

The courts of first instance are the two civil district courts for civil processes and the criminal court and the juvenile court for criminal proceedings.

At the communal level, the judges of the peace act as the arbitrating lower instance.

Municipalities and districts

The canton of Basel-Landschaft intends to achieve a balanced state budget by 2016 and 100% self-financing by 2018. Because of this, among other things, all communities are to be strengthened and the five districts are to be converted into six so-called regional conferences.

The canton of Basel-Landschaft is divided into five districts:

Districts of the canton of Basel-Landschaft
district Population
(December 31, 2018)
in km²
main place Number of
Arlesheim 155,854 096.24 Arlesheim 15th
To run 019,912 089.55 To run 13
Liestal 060,618 085.83 Liestal 14th
Sissach 035,783 141.00 Sissach 29
Waldenburg 015,965 104.93 Waldenburg 15th
Total (5) 288,132 517.55 Liestal 86
  • Before the change of the Laufental to the canton of Basel-Landschaft on January 1, 1994, the district of Laufen belonged to the canton of Bern.
  • The division of the Arlesheim district into a Birstal district and a Birsigtal district was discussed in the 1990s; it is by far the most populous district. However, in order not to give the lower part of the canton greater weight, the matter was no longer pursued.


Well-known companies from the Basel area are: Endress + Hauser , Ronda , Novartis , Hoffmann-La Roche , Ricola , Weleda , Bombardier , Laufen , Renata , Clariant and Georg Fischer JRG AG.

The unemployment rate in the canton is just below the Swiss average. As of December 31, 2015, the unemployment rate was 3.1 percent compared to 3.7 percent at the federal level.

The Roman colony city of Augusta Raurica , amphitheater


The Basel area is known for its picturesque Jura landscape in the Upper Basel area, and the cherry trees in bloom in spring are a frequent postcard subject. Numerous hiking trails connect mountain and valley. The Wasserfallen region at over 1000  m above sea level is particularly popular . M. , on which the Wasserfallenbahn (the only gondola lift in the region) leads from Reigoldswil .

Other tourist attractions:


The canton, which, together with the canton of Basel-Stadt, is responsible for the University of Basel and part of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland , functions as both a university and a university of applied sciences. In addition, the canton has a total of five maturity schools across its entire area.

University and colleges

High schools


The Basel area is located on two main traffic axes.

The lower Basel area is on the Basel - Laufen BL - Delsberg - Biel / Bienne or Pruntrut - Belfort (France) railway line .

The Upper Basel area lies on the main north-south traffic axis Germany / Benelux - Gotthard / Lötschberg - Simplon - Italy . The Autobahn 2 and the transit railway line run through the Basel area. From the canton capital Liestal , intercity and interregional rail connections lead to all of Switzerland.

In 2019, the degree of motorization (passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants) was 518.


Map of the separation of the Basel cantons in 1832/33

Before the Napoleonic upheavals, parts of the Duchy of Basel and the subject area of ​​the city of Basel , which had joined the Swiss Confederation in 1501, were located on the territory of today's Canton of Basel-Landschaft . It was not until 1815 that nine parishes of the dissolved Principality of Basel came to the city of Basel through a decree of the Congress of Vienna , while the rest of the Principality was added to the Canton of Bern .

In 1832 the rural communities fought against the dominance of the still aristocratic city of Basel. The municipalities on the left bank of the Rhine constituted themselves as an independent half-canton of Basel-Landschaft and adopted a liberal, representative constitution. The new canton was recognized by the Swiss Confederation's daily statute in 1833 (see: Basler canton separation ).

The last execution in the canton was carried out on October 15, 1851, of Hyazinth Bayer, convicted of robbery and murder.

As a result of internal tensions, the canton gave itself several new constitutions in the 19th century: Limitation of disputes over jurisdiction in 1838 and 1850, breakthrough of the democratic movement in 1863, expansion of democracy, basis for promoting welfare and for collecting state taxes in 1892. Today's sixth constitution of 1984 brought another expansion of popular rights (including the first ombudsman of Switzerland) and, moreover, represents a formal new version of the constitution of 1892, which was amended more than two dozen times over the course of almost a hundred years.

In 1994, following a referendum, the former Bernese Laufental joined the canton of Basel-Landschaft.

Attempts at reunification with Basel-Stadt were made in 1936, 1969 and 2014, but failed each time. At the end of September 2014, the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basellandschaft voted on a merger initiative aimed at establishing a joint constitutional council. It was accepted by 55 percent in the city canton, but rejected by over 68 percent in the rural canton and is therefore not pursued any further. In Basel-Landschaft, there has been a constitutional requirement for state independence since 1988, while the constitution of Basel-Stadt contained a reunification requirement until its total revision in 2006.

Administrative division

Political communities

Cities and towns in the canton of Basel-Landschaft

The following lists the political communities with more than 10,000 inhabitants as of December 31, 2018:

Political community Residents
Allschwil 21,157
Reinach 19'216
Muttenz 17,809
Pratteln 16,626
Binningen 15,678
Liestal , main town 14,390
Munchenstein 12,099
Oberwil 11,138
Birsfelden 10,303
Aesch 10,352

It is noteworthy that the most populous municipalities in the canton, with the exception of Liestal, are municipalities in the agglomeration belt of the city of Basel.


Districts of the canton of Basel-Landschaft

With the inclusion of the former Bernese Laufental, the original four became five districts (population as of December 31, 2018):

district Residents
in the district
main place Residents
in the main town
Arlesheim 155,854 Arlesheim 09129
To run 019,912 To run 05619
Liestal 060,618 Liestal 14,390
Sissach 035,783 Sissach 06681
Waldenburg 015,965 Waldenburg 01081

See also


Web links

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References and comments

  1. Balance of the permanent resident population by canton, definitive annual results, 2018. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 27, 2019, accessed on September 18, 2019 (definitive annual results).
  2. Structure of the permanent resident population by cantons. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 26, 2016, accessed on May 31, 2017 .
  3. ^ The situation on the job market in December 2015. (PDF; 807 kB) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), January 8, 2016, p. 9 , archived from the original on January 12, 2016 ; accessed on January 13, 2016 .
  4. Dealing with flags, standards and fanions (flag regulations). (PDF; 11.4 MB) Regulations 51.340 d. (No longer available online.) Swiss Army , p. 64 , archived from the original on November 6, 2011 ; accessed on August 1, 2014 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Balance of the permanent resident population by canton, definitive annual results, 2018. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 27, 2019, accessed on September 18, 2019 (definitive annual results).
  6. Structure of the permanent resident population by cantons. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 26, 2016, accessed on May 31, 2017 .
  7. a b The situation on the labor market in December 2015. (PDF; 807 kB) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), January 8, 2016, p. 9 , archived from the original on January 12, 2016 ; accessed on January 13, 2016 .
  8. For details, see the Linguistic Atlas of German-speaking Switzerland and Hans Peter Muster, Beatrice Bürkli Flaig: Baselbieter dictionary, Christoph Merian Verlag, Basel 2001 (grammars and dictionaries of Swiss German XIV) [the latter with an easily understandable characterization of the two Baselbiet dialect types].
  9. Statistical Office Basel-Landschaft: Resident population by nationality and denomination as of December 31, 2017. 2020, accessed on May 3, 2020 .
  10. a b Since 2010, the data from the Federal Statistical Office on the religious communities in the canton of Basel-Landschaft have been based on a sample survey, for which people aged 15 and over are surveyed. It should be noted that the results of the surveys show a confidence interval. (See also Population Census in Switzerland # Structure Survey .) Since the last census in 2000, there have been no figures on the religious affiliation of the total population (of all ages) in the canton of Basel-Landschaft. Exceptions are the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Reformed Church and the Christian Catholic Church ( regional churches ), whose members are officially registered on the basis of church tax .
  11. a b Federal Statistical Office: Permanent resident population aged 15 and over by religious affiliation and canton, 2017 | Excel table. 2019, accessed May 3, 2020 .
  12. ^ Constitution of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft. In: . Swiss Federal Chancellery , accessed on August 1, 2014 .
  13. ^ Constitution of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft. Canton of Basel-Landschaft, accessed on August 1, 2014 .
  14. ^ District elections 2019 - Canton of Basel-Landschaft. Canton of Basel-Landschaft, Landeskanzlei, March 31, 2019, accessed April 4, 2019 .
  15. ^ Government council elections 2019 - Canton of Basel-Landschaft. Canton of Basel-Landschaft, Landeskanzlei, March 31, 2019, accessed April 4, 2019 .
  16. Green in the Basel government - SVP grows in the district administrator. Basellandschaftliche Zeitung , March 27, 2011, accessed on August 1, 2014 .
  17. Basel area forward - The Basel area goes forward. Canton of Basel-Landschaft, accessed on January 19, 2015 .
  18. Anna Bálint: clareant Clariant. The beginnings of a specialty chemicals company. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / New York 2011, ISBN 978-3-593-39375-9 .
  20. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .
  21. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .

Coordinates: 47 ° 28 '  N , 7 ° 45'  E ; CH1903:  six hundred and twenty-three thousand nine hundred and twenty-three  /  256995